Maplewood Government Energy Aggregation Update; Virtual Info Session February 24

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From the Township of Maplewood:

As many will recall, two years ago, the Township of Maplewood joined with neighboring Essex County towns Glen Ridge, Verona, Montclair and South Orange to form the Sustainable Essex Alliance (“SEA”), for the purposes of seeking bids to purchase energy for residents with the twin goals of increasing residents’ access to high quality green energy and reducing the cost of electricity. Maplewood serves as the Lead Agent for this aggregation.

We achieved those goals in early 2019 and awarded a 17-month cooperative energy contract to Direct Energy Services that supplied cheaper and greener electricity to thousands of our residential customers. By leveraging the bulk purchasing power of thousands of households we were able to get power supply with over 40% renewable energy content, nearly double the renewable energy content of PSE&G power supply, at a price that was cheaper than the average PSE&G tariff price of a kilowatt-hour of energy.

The contract with Direct Energy began in July 2019, with a 17-month term that ran through December 2020. In September 2020, with the end of the initial SEA electric supply contract approaching, the SEA again went out to bid out for a new energy supplier. Because pricing on those bids was not favorable, the SEA rejected them.

After our contract with Direct Energy ended in December 2020, letters were sent out by PSE&G in December explaining that PSE&G would again serve as the default electricity energy supplier.

To further increase our bulk purchasing power, the SEA reached out to other municipalities, and the Township of Livingston and the Borough of Glen Rock were recently added to the SEA. The expectation was that by including a larger group of households, there would be a better result in bid pricing. With Livingston and Glen Rock joining in, a total of seven towns now work together.

New Contract Awarded for Round 2 of the SEA

On November 4, 2020, after Livingston and Glen Rock joined the SEA, and observing that market improvements, the SEA accepted new bids for Round 2 of the program. The new bid prices were indeed significantly improved as compared to the bids received in September. As a result, the SEA awarded a contract for Round 2 of the program to Energy Harbor, the low bidder, for a 17-month contract that will begin in April 2021.

Under the new contract with Energy Harbor, the baseline product will again provide participating residents with power supply that has nearly double the renewable energy content required of PSE&G, at a price of $0.12696/kWh, which is below the current average Basic Generation Service tariff price of PSE&G. Therefore, residents can expect to receive power supply under Round 2 of the SEA program that is greener than utility-provided power supply, and at a cost that is expected to be slightly lower than the cost of PSE&G power supply over the contract term.

In addition, participating residents will have the ability to voluntarily OPT-UP to a 100% renewable energy product, for a modest price premium of $0.00741/kWh above the base contract price (i.e. $0.13437/kWh vs. the baseline contract price of $0.12696/kWh). While modestly higher than the PSE&G tariff price, this voluntary 100% renewable energy supply product is priced favorably against similar options currently available on the marketplace.

Expect Solicitations from Energy Providers

As you may have previously, you are likely to again receive solicitation phone calls and letters directly from 3rd party suppliers offering green energy and different electric rates. Be aware that these solicitations are not associated with the SEA, are not leveraging the purchasing power of your municipality and may not include high quality renewable energy sources. The only 3rd party supplier associated with the SEA is Energy Harbor.

Going Forward

In early February 2021, all eligible residents will receive a mailing providing the details of the Round 2 contract with Energy Harbor. This will signify the beginning of the 30-day ‘optout’ period. As with the Round 1 program, the mailer will include information on how to optout of the SEA program, via phone, internet, or return of postage paid opt-out card, if you choose for any reason to remain with PSE&G supply and not to participate in the SEA program. If you wish to be in the SEA program, no action needs to be taken.

You will also receive information on how to ‘OPT-UP’ to the 100% renewable energy product should you not only wish to remain in the SEA program but also wish to pay the slightly higher price for the 100% product.

At the conclusion of the ‘opt-out’ period, Energy Harbor will enroll all residents who did not opt-out for power supply service beginning with April 2021 meter reads. If you do not opt out, you will receive a notice from PSE&G in mid-March stating that Energy Harbor has enrolled your account for service. Service with Energy Harbor will begin effective with your April 2021 meter read, and you will begin seeing Energy Harbor charges on your May PSE&G bill. If you do opt-out, you will remain with PSE&G power supply.

Maplewood has scheduled a Public Information Session from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on February 24, 2021. In order to assure the public’s safety, the Session will be conducted electronically rather than in-person, using the same call-in instructions used for the Township Committee meetings: Webinar Link:; or iPhone one-tap: US: +19292056099, 96668646085# or +13017158592, 96668646085#; or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 929 205 6099 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799. Webinar ID: 966 6864 6085. The Township’s energy consultant, Gabel Associates, will make a brief presentation and answer questions during the Public Information Session.

The Township is pleased to provide you with this opportunity to save money on your energy costs while contributing to a reduction in the Township’s carbon footprint. Please keep an eye out for specific information and mailings regarding the SEA program in early February 2021, leading up to the program’s implementation in April 2021.

For frequently asked questions about the program, view the attached pdf.

Download (PDF, 503KB)

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